Liverpool take on Villarreal in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Wednesday night but Tottenham could still make their presence felt. Unai Emery has led the Yellow Submarine into the final four via Juventus and Bayern Munich but they now face their toughest challenge.
The Reds are hunting down their seventh European crown and have been handed what appears to be the more favourable of the ties on paper, with Real Madrid and Manchester City clashing in the other semi-final. But Villarreal have proven time and time again that they are far greater than the sum of their parts.
Two players who have been at the centre of this glorious European run belong to Tottenham. Juan Foyth and Giovanni Lo Celso were both deemed surplus to requirements in north London with Foyth sold to the Spaniards in the summer and Lo Celso sent on loan during the January transfer window.
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Foyth has appeared in all but two of the club’s run to the semi-finals, missing a group stage clash with Young Boys and a trip to Juventus. Lo Celso has played in each Champions League match since his arrival and played a crucial part in their winner against Bayern. After the clash with the German giants, Antonio Conte piled praise on the Spurs loanee.
“First of all, I’m really happy for his great performance. He needed to play with regularity, with continuity. For this reason, he went to Spain in a league he knows very well because he played very well, and Tottenham bought him when he played in that league,” Conte said.
“To go back there and show he’s in good form is good for everybody, especially because Tottenham paid a lot of money for him. I am very happy because he is playing every game, he’s showing he’s a good player, but I never said he’s not a good player.”
Source by Football London